by cheri sabraw
As we drove away from Santa Fe at high noon, I vowed never again to eat another cheesy enchilada laced with New Mexican chili pepper, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers, another tortilla stuffed with hot saucy scrambled eggs and peppers, or to drink another pepper infused martini, garnished with a pepper.
And although I will miss the glorious cloud formations that gathered ceremoniously every afternoon to celebrate the coming of Thunder and Lightning, I will not miss the gastronomical temptations to which I succumbed all week and to which no digestive system should have to endure.
Prilosec, God of Neutralizing, and feared by every pepper on every pepper vine south of Espanola and north of Gallup, came to my rescue, along with all the bread, muffins, bread sticks, and corn bread I used to soak up the combustible mixture, one threatening to take my mind off the deeply detailed and neurotic Marcel Proust, about whom I was studying.
The skies of New Mexico, like the chicken enchiladas covered with mole’ and the cilantro infused tortilla soup, linger.
The Judge, most of the time (with some notable exceptions) the standard for moderation and consideration, avoided all spicy foods, and instead wisely ordered fish, salmon, fish, halibut, fish, and scallops–all of which behaved like chicken broth and soda crackers–predictably, gently, regularly.
He was studying, after all, Aristotle’s Ethics and what is more moderate–the “mean” if you will–than fish, pilaf, and a salad with balsamic dressing?